Deputy Senate President, Senate Ike Ekweremadu, yesterday accused the executive arm of the government of persecuting leading opposition figures in the country and the leadership of the National Assembly for political reasons ahead of the 2019 elections.
Ekweremadu, who spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital en route Ekiti State for the governorship election campaign accused the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government of using intimidation to whip the opposition figures to the line for political reasons. He spoke to a crowd of supporters, including the Southwest Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Eddy Olafeso; the State Chairman of the party, Chief Clement Faboyede; governorship candidate of the party in the last governorship election, Eyitayo Jegede SAN among other leaders.
Ekweremadu said the PDP would win the next general election starting from the election in Ekiti and Osun states. Earlier, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State; former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and former Senate President, David Mark had addressed the party leaders, assuring them of return of the party to the government at the Southwest geo-political zone.
Ekweremadu in his speech at the Akure Airport said: “The leaders, including all of us are facing persecutions, smear campaign and threat. I want to tell you that this is our darkest hour in our country as they say; the darkest part of the night is when it is almost dawn. So, we are almost in the day- light. Let everybody exercise patience.
We want to appeal to everybody that we are democratic and we are going to win in democratic form. “We eschew bitterness; we eschew any kind of violence, so that our winning will be in PDP way which is peaceful. So, the success of PDP next year will start in Ekiti, by July we are going to ensure we win in Ekiti.
“We are going to thank the Southwest because they are leading to this success, after that of Ekiti is Osun State and after Osun by 2019, we will be winning all the way. We thank you for standing by us.” Speaking on the defection of the former governor of the State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko from PDP to Labour Party (LP), Ekweremadu said the action of the former governor could be as a result of the threat from high quarters. According to him, the former governor could have stayed back in the PDP and helped salvage the country but left out of the threat.
His words: “We understand that one of our leaders, who we gave an opportunity to be a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we gave an opportunity to be the governor of this state and made him chairman of PDP governor’s forum, today out of threat he left us. “Those who are unfaithful will never last long. I want to assure you of that.
Like a smoke, he has left us and now we can see clearly. We can see those who are gentlemen and those we can depend on to salvage our country. I want to assure you those of you that you never regret your staying back at the party.” The Chairman of the party in the state, Faboyede, said the party would win without the effort of Mimiko as the party was formidable to win the next year’s general elections